New player execution/intelligence problems

Hey all, new SSFIV player here.

I’ve been playing for a few months here and there, and two months ago or so I snagged a Hori real arcade pro EX-SE from ebay for the 360. I’ve been playing matches online more frequently lately, and thought I was doing okay using Abel as my main. I just got the achievement for fighting 100 ranked matches, so out of curiosity I went and checked my win percentage and was disheartened to see that I had only won 28 of my 100 bouts.

I’d like to get better, but there are a few things that I really need to improve on, so hopefully some players here can help me (and other newbs with similar problems). My first issue is an execution one; I, for one reason or another, can’t seem to pull off double hadouken motions in matches very reliably. Some days are worse than others, and I can do them flawlessly over and over again in training, but when it comes down to a real match, I can’t pull off an Ultra 1 with Abel when I really need to (Hadouken spamming Ryu’s, for example), and an EX falling sky comes out instead. Probably just a problem with trying too hard to do it quickly, but any advice would help!

My second major problem is that I’m stupid. Not normally, but in a match, I’ll often find myself jumping in on a downed Shoto who I know with 100% certainty is going to do a wake-up shoryuken and nail me with it, and as I’m sailing through the air with my foot out I’ll ponder as to why I’m such a masochist. I know before jumping that I shouldn’t do it, and call myself an idiot while I’m doing it, and then laughing at myself when I get nailed. Some kind of mental block, I guess, and I doubt people can help, but it’s at times both frustrating and hilarious.

Finally, my last problem doesn’t really relate to Abel, but rather to Shoto characters. I’ve been trying to play as Shotos once in a while on endless, and practicing in training mode I do okay. The major problem I have, though, is that I can’t for the life of me FADC after a shoryuken. Ever. I did it twice with Dan (in an hour of practice), but can’t even cancel the move with Ryu, much less dash out of the focus attack.

For those curious, I main Abel and have ~1400BP and ~700PP on a good day. My win percentage is about 37% or so now, so I still suck, but not as bad as last month. I’m having tons of fun with the game, but would enjoy not sucking so bad.

Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks guys.

answer to problem #1:
chance are you’re rushing your inputs and you don’t complete them. slow it down and you’ll more than likely get a higher success rate

answer to problem #2:
you’re playing on “autopilot”/you’re stuck with bad habits. this is pretty much my problem too. the best way to fix this is to think while you play and try learning new things to do on a downed opponent like safe jumps, cross-ups, meaty attacks, baiting, etc.

answer to problem #3:
you’re probably rushing to do the inputs on this too. just focus on doing everything in a moderate complete motion rather than trying to do it as fast as you can, you have a lot more time than you think to do srk > fadc > U1

Thanks for the reply, elDark. You’re absolutely right, I feel like I probably am just rushing the motions when in the heat of the moment. I’ve been working on the shoryuken FADC to ultra, and I seem to be getting better at it. I was just hammering on FADC too quickly, I suppose. Now, though, I can cancel it alright, but can’t seem to dash out of it afterwards. Back to training mode for me, it seems.

If you have only played 100 matches, then you are at the human punching bag stage simply because you don’t have enough play time.

At this point, you are better off simply playing and learning the flow of the game, rather than trying to learn advanced techniques (just get the basics down, ex: FADCs).

Once you’ve played some large number of matches (10000+), you’ll start to notice that other people become your punching bags.

  1. your method for performing in training is probably different from the one you use in a match. you need to incorporate the method from your training DIRECTLY into a real match so that it becomes second nature. try concentrating on it the EXACT same way you would in training. stop “fighting”, and try to “train” in a real match

  2. surprised you noticed this. lots of players know they’re losing but are unable to see this pattern. anyway, that’s exactly what it is: a pattern. you need to learn adaptation. now, you’ve probably adapted to players before, but you need to adopt a method of adaptation that allows you to change when your opponent changes. what you need to do is just observe what they’re doing and then think to yourself: “because they’re doing that, I’m doing this.” for instance, let’s say a Ryu player is keeping a nice distance away from you and he stays fixated in one spot. you notice as he does this, he does a hadouken. so from that you can deduce that whenever he does this, he could be preparing to use hadouken. in response, you prepare to do your own counter. lemme know how everything works out after this

  3. vary your timing. try really fast, fast, average, slow, slower than that, slower than that, etc. also, though I doubt you’ll need to go this far, you might want to check your input using training mode and make sure you’re hitting the buttons that make the char do focus attack.

Changing habits is a frustrating aspect of improving - especially when you’ve earned a number of early victories against weaker players using a specific technique (that now gets you killed against better players).

Some excellent advice I was given came from Chief Flash, of VF5 fame. He suggested devoting an entire game/match/session to NOT doing that technique. No matter how much you want to. Handicap yourself at the start and say “for the rest of this night, I am not going to jump in on a downed opponent”. Do that and see what happens.

This approach can be applied to almost any bad habit. You’ll find it very frustrating at first, because your instincts will be telling you that you should jump in, but that’s okay. Ignore them and stick with the game plan. Just forcing yourself to do this will open you up to learning what the game looks like when your opponent rises and you don’t jump in. Then, in later sessions, you’ll find that you have both options available, because you will have become comfortable in either situation (jumping in or not).

Wow, great advice everyone, thanks!

I guess just more practice is what most of this boils down to. After slumming around in training for a few hours, I’m picking up the FADC->Ultra with more regularity, although I highly doubt I could pull it off in a real match. It’s not that important anyway, what with me maining Abel.

I’ve been following omfg’s advice, and it’s really caused me to slow my game down and act a lot more defensively, punishing mistakes rather than my usual relentless offense methods. I’ve been decently successful with it so far, but when I stop and think about these things, I’m not applying as much pressure as I was before. I guess I’m winning more often, so maybe being able to pressure opponents will just come as I learn to read the game faster?

offense and defense are 2 sides of the same coin. you’re using defensive adaptation. there’s offensive adaptation as well. i think that you’re just using the advice defensively. it can apply offensively too. instead of specifically looking at what he does to hurt you and thinking of ways to deal with that, instead take a look at what he does to protect himself and then ways to invalidate them will come to you.

+1 A good way to check this is to watch your replays with input display on (and sometimes slow motion helps) to check that your inputs are right. Typically with dropped ultras you would be pressing the buttons at down-back rather than back (or down forward rather than forward).

When FADCing a shoryu you can simply input the shoryu and immediately hold MP+MK until it cancels. There’s really no timing involved. After you get used to doing that consistently you can worry about getting the dash timing down.

I was pretty bad at this game until I was well past 1,000 games played mark. It might have been closer 2000. It was well past 3-4,000 games before I started to feel like I was actually getting good.

You just started. 100 games is nothing. Competitive sport like activites be they online fighters, shooters, or things in real life like basketball or football are things that require dedication and a long long learning process.

Its important to remember that your still a noob. And will be for a fairly long time. Don’t stress about losing. Think about why you lost, try and figure how people are beating you. Research on internet and focus on learning, not winning. And the most important is to have fun. Even if you lose. Enjoy the battle, enjoy the competition, enjoy the process of learning and self discovery, and don’t let losing take the fun out of it.

We we’re all there at some point. Everyone has to go through “getting your ass kicked all the time” phase. Whether or not you’ll become a good player will be determined largely based on your ability to have fun despite losing.

If you can’t have fun in the face of defeat you’ll never last long enough to reach your goals.